Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Library Books Mid-July 2016

This post is going live a little later than mid-July. I spent just over a week in Oregon and mailed my books back to myself, and since they went media mail they just got home. I put my library books in there since I had finished them, along with the books I bought at (where else) Powells. The newly purchased books will be included in my monthly new books in post at the end of July.

Disinformation by Frances Leviston
Physical by Andrew McMillan
Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting
The Patron Saint of Ugly by Marie Manilla
Apex by Ramez Naam
Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand
Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrigue
The Tusk that did the Damage by Tania James
My Own Cape Cod by Gladys Taber
Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death by Jane Halifax
Kaiseki by Yoshihiro Murata

I heard about the Murata from an eGalley of Super Sushi Ramen Express, so of course I had to read more about this fascinating cuisine.

I wish I could remember where I heard about the Halifax. I requested it immediately from interlibrary loan and devoured it before my trip home. I discuss it further on Episode 063 of the Reading Envy Podcast: Desolation Road.

The Leviston, McMillan, and James are all on my stack because they were finalists for the Dylan Thomas Prize, and I had already read the other two nominees. I figured, why not?

The Whiting and Manilla were total impulse checkouts when I was looking for light reads for my trip, the Taber was recommended by a Litsy friend, and the Enrigue was the July pick for one of my Goodreads groups.

The Hand and Naam are books in series I have started and liked, and want to keep reading. The Naam will finish a trilogy, and I hope to dig into it this weekend if not sooner.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Reading Envy 063: Desolation Road

Jenny does another round of book speed dating to meet her 2016 reading goals, and decides to go with the #scifijuly theme. Then she shares books on grief, death and dying, a theme she has been following through literature lately. Jenny is visited in her office at the very end by a future guest!

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 063: Desolation Road.

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Part 1: Book Speed Dating Project #4 of 2016

Books discussed:

Nekropolis by Maureen F. McHugh
Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson
The Bug by Ellen Ullman
The Colony by Jillian Weise
Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
The Shards of Heaven by Michael Livingston
Desolation Road by Ian McDonald
The Peripheral by William Gibson
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Other mentions:
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Reamde by Neal Stephenson
Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Part 2: Books on Grief

Books discussed:

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times edited by Neil Astley
The Ark by Ed Madden
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death by Joan Halifax
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
The Holders and The Seers by Julianna Scott (I called her Julianna Holden on the recording)
The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Other mentions:
"How to Lift Him" TED Talk with Ed Madden
Book Riot: "How to Read when the World is Terrible"
"Late Fragment" by Raymond Carter

Stalk us online:
Jenny at GoodReads
Jenny on Twitter

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Reading Envy Podcast 062: Olfactory Stimuli

David Galloway returns to the Reading Envy pub to discuss more books. He previously appeared on Episode 028: The Room of Requirement and there are some fun connections to our last discussion. You don't need to hear 028 first! This episode is posting a few days early because Jenny is going off the grid for a week or so.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 062: Olfactory Stimuli.

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
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Or listen through TuneIn
Or listen on Google Play
Listen via Stitcher (new!)

Books discussed:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2008)
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1955)
Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress (1993)
Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand (2007)
The Mussorgsky Riddle by Darin Kennedy (2015)
The Country of Marriage: Poems by Wendell Berry (1971)

Game Night, first and last, from Jenny's viewpoint, circa 2008
Other mentions:

Settlers of Catan (board game)
Ticket to Ride (board game)
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Newberry Award
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (in audio)
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian (film)
Bridge to Terabithia by Kathleen Paterson
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
The Nightmare Before Christmas (film)
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Gattaca (film)
Ramez Naam on the Sword and Laser podcast
More than Human by Ramez Naam
Modest Mussorgsky
How to be a Poet by Wendell Berry
The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino
Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend

Related episodes:

Episode 028 - The Room of Requirement with guest David Galloway

Stalk us online:

Jenny at GoodReads
David on his blog
Jenny on Twitter
David on Twitter

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Mid-Year Reading Goal Check-In

A lot of readers in Litsy have been reporting on their goals, picking best reads for the year, etc. I started to get curious about the progress I have made on my reading goals, and decided to both investigate and share it with you. If you want to go back and listen to me discuss more behind the initial intent behind the goals, check out Episode 048 of the podcast.

Goal 1: Read a book from the countries left in Africa (from my ongoing "read a book from every country" project)

I'm encountering a minor version to what happened last year, when I got stuck reading books from New Guinea for four months - instead of reading one book in every country, I have read several books for many of the countries I aim to read. So while I've read 20 books for this challenge, I have only covered 11 countries. 31 to go if I'm going to read all the countries I've never read from. Five a month? I'm not sure that's going to happen, but here is what has:
The Stranger by Albert Camus (February 2016)
The Meursault Investigation (April 2016)

Wife of the Gods (June 2016)
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (June 2016)

The Book of Secrets by M.J. Vassanji (February 2016)

The Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles To Timbuktu by Kira Salak (March 2016)
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer (March 2016)

The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Paulina Chiziane (April 2016)

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor (January 2016)

Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga (February 2016)
Cockroaches by Scholastique Mukasonga (June 2016)

South Sudan
Beyond the River Yei (January 2016)
There is a Country: New Fiction from the New Nation of South Sudan (January 2016)

Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih (March 2016)

When Hoopoes Go to Heaven by Gaile Parkin (May 2016)

Child of Dandelions by Shenaaz Nanji (February 2016)
All Our Names by Dinew Mengestu (January 2016)
The Gravity of Sunlight by Rosa Shand (January 2016)
Thirty Girls by Susan Minot (January 2016)

New-Generation African Poets ed. By Kwame Dawes (April 2016)
Goal 2: Read some of my shelf of anthologies (perhaps develop strategies for this)

FAIL. I have made it through one anthology, and that was one I purchased after making these reading goals. Sigh.

Goal 3: Don't be a hoarder - complete six more book speed dating projects to make decisions about books I'm not sure about

I haven't been so great about not adding more books, but to be fair (to me) that wasn't the goal. I have done one speed dating project every two months, so for 2016, I have done three. I will work on another one sometime in July.

I recorded about each of them, so you can hear my thoughts:

Speed Dating 2016 #1

Speed Dating 2016 #2
Speed Dating 2016 #3

Goal 4: Reflective reading - experiment with journaling, video reviews, etc.

I definitely worked a lot with this although most of it is not something I can show. I absolutely prefer to record my thoughts in audio over video.

Goal 5: Read genres I usually ignore - crime and romance, maybe others
Heck yeah. I have read more romance this year than any other time in my life. That discussion is in the same episode as speed date #2, "The Wall of Romance." When I gave my students this project, I picked up a sportsing book.  I have read a few more crime novels this year, although I'm not sure if it's more than normal, and it is likely not the titles I had in mind when I made the goal.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Books I Read in June 2016

(Pictured: 5-star reads for June)

144. Upstairs at the Strand: Writers in Conversation at the Legendary Bookstore (library; my review)
145. Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith, read by Emily Rankin (audiobook review copy; my review)
146. Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey (own; my review)
147. My Last Continent by Midge Raymond (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
148. Some Day by Shemi Zarhin (interlibrary loan; my review)
149. Light Boxes by Shane Jones (own; my review)
150. The Joys of Love by Madeleine L'Engle (own; my review)
151. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West, read by Lindy West (audiobook; my review)
152. Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger, performed by Moira Quirk (audiobook; my review)
153. Super Sushi Ramen Express by Michael Booth (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
154. Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (own; my review)
155. Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter (library; my review)
156. Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett (interlibrary loan and eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
157. The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
158. Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand (library; my review)
159. Siracusa by Delia Ephron (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
160. How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
161. I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
162. Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton (galley from publisher; my review)
163. The Butch and the Beautiful by Kris Ripper (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
164. Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger, performed by Moira Quirk (audiobook; my review)
165. Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (library; my review)
166. Cockroaches by Scholastique Mukasonga (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
167. Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend (own; my review)
168. Leaving the Fold by Marlene Winell (own; my review)
169. Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death by Joan Halifax (interlibrary loan; my review)

Total Books Read in June: 25
Review copies: 11
Audiobook: 4
eBook: 8
Print: 13
Fiction: 19
Non-fiction: 6

Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Books In, June 2016

June was a strange month where the books coming in were almost taller than my roses! I finally piled them all up today and made some tea (Thai osmanthus, thanks for asking.) More discussion and regions below the list.

Light Boxes by Shane Jones
Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith
The Good Life Elsewhere by Vladimir Lorchenkov
The 6:41 to Paris by Jean-Philippe Blondel, translated by Alison Anderson
Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea by Teffi
The Bug by Ellen Ullman
The Joys of Love by Madeleine L'Engle
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The Colony by Jillian Weise
Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle
Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
The Peripheral by William Gibson
Restless by William Boyd

Half this pile was from a trip to the used bookstore where I had credit to spend - Jones (because I loved the cover), Smith (because I wanted it in my collection), L'Engle (because I wanted to read more of her adult literature, although this doesn't qualify), the Hornby (to have in my collection), the Weise (because I had only read her poetry and know she's local), the Gibson (because I used to read all his novels and somehow never got around to this one), and the Boyd (because I enjoyed Any Human Heart.)

On Episode 061 of the Reading Envy Podcast, I discussed the book Some Day,a title from a publisher that was new to me. They contacted me and offered to send me a few more books, and I'm looking forward to the Lorchenkov (set in Moldova and the author is also from Moldova) and the Blondel. The Beagle is also a galley sent by a publisher, with the most beautiful cover! I only recently read The Last Unicorn for the first time and I'm looking forward to this one.

I ordered the Danler because it sounded right up my alley, the Teffi because a friend whose reading tastes are similar to mine demanded I read it right away, the Ullman because I had recently seen it on a list and then found it at a friends of the library bookstore in the NC mountains, and the Amend because I signed up for Book of the Month in a weak moment. All the readers in Litsy are doing it!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Reading Envy 061: Never Do That to a Book

Elizabeth (from Episode 033) is back to discuss books she's read recently. We are sometimes joined by children, dogs, and airplanes taking off from a nearby airport, but please just settle in as if you were in a friend's living room with all the ephemera. Welcome!

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 061: Never Do That to a Book.

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
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Or listen through TuneIn
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Books discussed:

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez
My Last Continent by Midge Raymond
Wind, Sand, and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Some Day by Shemi Zarhin
Ex Libris: Collections of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel

Other mentions:
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
Flight to Arras by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
Any Human Heart (miniseries)
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
The History of Reading by Alberto Manguel
A Universal History of the Destruction of Books  by Fernando Baez
Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper by Nicholson Baker
Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin
The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams

Related Episodes:
Episode 033 - An Undulating Thrum with guests Ruth and Elizabeth
Stalk us online:
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Elizabeth at Goodreads